Kuala Lumpur is set to become the inaugural host for the eRacing Grand Prix SEA this June. The eRacing Grand Prix SEA aims to help virtual racers develop their potential and become stars in motor racing, not unlike the Nissan GT Academy back in Gran Turismo 6.
eRacing made its Grand Prix debut in Hong Kong last year, and it inspired our national driver Alex Yoong to bring virtual racing into this region and develop a programme around it. The programme is designed to transform virtual racers into actual motorsports champions. Imagine if you will, one moment you’re on top of the Gran Turismo Sport leaderboard, the next you’re training to race on an actual race track. Pretty cool, eh?
Alex Yoong, the founder of Axle Motorsports, said, “eRacing Grand Prix SEA is the best platform for virtual racers to prove that gamers can establish themselves in real-life motorsports successfully.”
Yoong pointed out that racing is one of the only esports in which the skills can transition seamlessly between the two worlds; esports and actual motorsports. He said that it’s very different from other esports titles such as FIFA as being good in the game doesn’t mean the player is good in the field, but in racing, you can transfer your racing sim skills and apply it in real life.
“The two worlds are converging, and this is the starting line.”
PlayStation players can develop their skills by playing Gran Turismo Sport on the console. The game is lauded to be one of the most realistic driving sims in the world, even Yoong agreed to that fact. The top 40 contestants will have professional drivers as coaches and will be groomed to become real racing drivers.
Axle Motorsports will also provide strategic partnership in Southeast Asian motorsports to help the eRacing industry flourish by providing exposure such as career progression from gaming to tangible motorsports. This initiative is also a region-wide effort in which it supports the drivers’ and fresh talents to become the faces of the motorsports industry.
The Grand Prix will start in Malaysia, and will then head to the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and the final stop will be Thailand. The winner of each country stop will be trained and offered a spot in the Formula 4 South East Asia Championship (F4SEA), before heading in the bigger leagues. If you’re wondering, yes, the F4SEA is an actual race on an actual track, where you drive an actual race car.
This initiative is a gigantic effort from all the stakeholders, such as Axle Motorsports, the Ministry of Youth and Sports as well as all the passionate gamers from around the nation. As an esports and motorsports enthusiast, I am truly interested to see this programme take off and become as equal as, or more than, the likes of Nissan’s GT Academy.